Crude oil futures plunge 0.97 percent on weak overseas trend

"As such, the combination of robust demand and weaker global supply leading to rebalanced markets will not be de-railed by USA shale oil", said Jeremy Baker, senior commodity strategist at Vontobel Asset Management.

Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the worldwide benchmark for oil, were at $50.94 per barrel at 0146 GMT, up 30 cents, or 0.59 percent, from their last close.

Oil dropped as USA crude supplies rose to an all-time high while investors await a meeting between OPEC and its allies that may signal whether they'll extend output curbs.

Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output were having the desired effect of reining in a global fuel supply overhang.

Investors were awaiting U.S. inventories data expected to reveal rising stocks after a surprise drop in the week to March 10, with data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) at 10:30 a.m. EDT on Wednesday. The API data also showed that refinery crude increased by 224,000 barrels per day.

Brent remains well below this year's high above $58, hit shortly after January 1 when the deal between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC states to curb supplies by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) came into effect. U.S. crude imports have risen by 615,000 barrels per day last week to 7.9 million barrels per day.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for April inched up 0.2 cents, or 0.2%, to $1.603 a gallon, while April heating oil rose 0.3 cents to $1.499 a gallon.

The bank said OPEC-led cuts would start having an impact in the second half of 2017, but added that USA crude production was expected to grow by 360,000 bpd in 2017 and 1 million bpd in 2018.

Last week speculators cut more than 150,000 contracts betting on firmer USA and Brent oil prices, a record high.

Crude palm oil prices fell 0.24 per cent to Rs 534 per 10 kg in futures trade today as speculators booked profits at prevailing higher levels amid fall in demand in spot market.

US drillers boosted the rig count by 14 to 631 units drilling for oil last week, data from Baker Hughes showed.

According to Goldman Sachs, the rising USA shale production could lead to an oversupply by 2018 or 2019.

Oil prices saw a late-session surge on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-fall-more-than-1-as-traders-fret-about-us-crude-stockpiles-2017-03-22), but still closed lower.

  • Zachary Reyes